Entertainment

Meet the bakers making their big Bake Off debut tonight

On your marks, get set…BAKE!

The Great British Bake Off will welcome a batch of 12 fresh faces to the competition tent this week, putting their artistic and engineering – as well as their baking – skills to the ultimate TV test.

With hours to go before the show makes its Channel 4 debut, here are the dozen hopefuls who will rise to the challenge for cake week.

1. Liam, 19, from North London

The Great British Bake Off
Meet drama student, Liam (Mark Bourdillon/Channel 4/PA)

Known among his friends as the Cake Boy, Liam discovered his passion for baking four years ago and is already working on how to turn it into a career combined with his drama degree.

2. Stacey, 42, from Hertfordshire

The Great British Bake Off
Stacey loves to bake for her three boys (Mark Bourdillon/Channel 4/PA)

The former school teacher was first inspired in the kitchen by her grandmother and likes to express her Jewish heritage through her cooking, serving up a traditional Challah every Friday.

3. Tom, 29, from Edinburgh

The Great British Bake Off
Tom’s speciality: shortbread (Mark Bourdillon/Channel 4/PA)

All of architect Tom’s siblings were taught to bake by their mother and his speciality is still the fresh shortbread he makes for partner David and their friends and family.

4. Sophie, 33, from Surrey

The Great British Bake Off
Multi-talented Sophie (Mark Bourdillon/Channel 4/PA)

A psychology graduate, trainee stuntwoman and former Royal Artillery officer, it was only when she volunteered to make a friend’s birthday cake that Sophie discovered she also had talent in the kitchen.

5. James, 46, from Essex

The Great British Bake Off
Vegetable-grower James (Mark Bourdillon/Channel 4/PA)

The family man and banker was taught to bake as a child by his father, and the pair now grow their own fruit and vegetables to use in their recipes.

6. Yan, 46, from North London

The Great British Bake Off
Yan keeping her cool (Mark Bourdillon/Channel 4/PA)

Yan turned her attention to baking to fill time between working 24-hour shifts for the NHS as a molecular biologist, an intensive job that helped her deal with the pressure in the Bake Off tent.

7. Steven, 34, from Hertfordshire

The Great British Bake Off
Steven is dreaming of a future in baking (Mark Bourdillon/Channel 4/PA)

Steven learnt his kitchen craft from mum Judi – starting with a lemon drizzle cake at the age of nine – and is now considering trading in his career in marketing for a future in baking.

8. Flo, 71, from Merseyside

The Great British Bake Off
Flo made it to the tent after a nidge from her kids (Mark Bourdillon/Channel 4/PA)

The eldest Bake Off contestant to date, Flo began baking as a way to help her cope with the death of her husband and thanks her children for persuading her to apply for the show.

9. Chris, 50, from Bristol

The Great British Bake Off
The new Heston Blumenthal: Chris (Mark Bourdillon/Channel 4/PA)

A cancer survivor and campaigner, Chris got into the show while recovering in hospital and is now known as “Heston Blumenthal” by his mates for his quirky flavour combinations.

10. Julia, 21, from West Sussex

The Great British Bake Off
Devoted baker Julia (Mark Bourdillon/Channel 4/PA)

GBBO inspired Julia to hone her baking skills almost as soon as she moved to the UK from her native Serbia three years ago. As soon as she won a place in the tent she quit her job to commit full-time.

11. Peter, 52, from Essex

The Great British Bake Off
Bread expert Peter (Mark Bourdillon/Channel 4/PA)

The IT programme manager and family man first fell in love with making his own healthy bread and now prides himself on whipping up the perfect macaron.

12. Kate, 29, from Merseyside

The Great British Bake Off
Baking is just one of Kate’s many skills (Mark Bourdillon/Channel 4/PA)

A health and safety inspector, blacksmith, furniture restorer and yoga enthusiast, the self-taught baker described being inside the GBBO tent as the real life-changing experience.

The Great British Bake Off airs on Channel 4 at 8pm on Tuesday.

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